I usually avoid writing posts that involve conjecture. I am a big fan of facts since corporate reformers rely on conjecture, hype, and marketing, I try and leave those strategies to them. But sometimes something happens that while an outcome cannot be proven, a question is worth considering.
Bloomberg News just announced that their new editor-in-chief will be John Micklethwait who has served as the editor-in-chief on The Economist since 2006 and worked there since 1987.
Content produced by Bloomberg News is disseminated through a myriad of outlets including the Bloomberg terminal, Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg.com and Bloomberg’s mobile platforms.
Why should those of us fighting for quality, equitable, and meaningful public education for all children care about this?
We are already all too familiar with the stranglehold that the “reform” narrative has on the mainstream media. This is in large part due to the corporate funding by billionaires such as Bill Gates providing philanthropic weight behind what will or won’t get published or covered in print and radio.
It’s also well known that Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and owner of Bloomberg News wears the crown of reform despotism. So it’s already likely that his news corporation will spew endless reams of reform tripe disguised as “news.”
For example, Kahn Academy has long been a “darling” of Michael Bloomberg and is widely supported via his news outlets.
But now enter Mr. Micklethwait, who I suggest might add more insult to injury.
For starters, The Economist is a news outlet owned in part by Pearson Publishing, whose name needs no introduction when it comes to understanding the influence this major company has had on shaping education policy to serve its own ends. The Economist Group is 50% owned by Pearson PLC via The Financial Times Limited.
Pearson Publishing has a website called The Learning Curve, created by The Economist. The website claims, “The data and analysis on this website will help governments, teachers and learners identify the common elements of effective education.” BIG DATA to manage schools as stocks and investments is more like it.
Additionally, Mr. Micklethwait has some decided opinions on education policy that include a strong support of charter schools, which he writes about in his book Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization.
He was also a delegate, along with two colleagues, at the 2010 Bilderberg Conference held in Spain. This group consists of an assembly of notable politicians, industrialists and financiers who meet annually to discuss issues on a non-disclosure basis.
Bilderberg has a strong influence over education policy via the guidance of its elite members, many of whom including Mr. Micklethwait, are key players in education reform including Lou Gerstner (co- founder of Achieve), Bill Gates, and Michael Bloomberg.
So we have an elite member of leadership hailing from a subsidiary of Pearson joining forces with Michael Bloomberg.
I wonder how this will affect the corporate reform tentacle called mainstream media and its influence on public opinion. Could this create new partnerships between Bloomberg News and Pearson Publishing? And how might we ramp up our response and elevate our own voices above their din of bullshit.